The BJP on Monday alleged the state administration was not allowing it to campaign freely and was applying rules selectively to create “favourable conditions” for the ruling Congress in the May 12 Karnataka assembly elections. “Party president Amit Shah was disallowed from garlanding a statue of B R Ambedkar during poll campaign and its workers were not even allowed to hoist party flags atop their houses,” BJP general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Muralidhar Rao said.
He alleged that state officials involved in the election work had threatened the party workers and asked them to remove the flags. “Taking note of this, the BJP has decided to launch a statewide ‘namma mane BJP mane (our house is BJP house)’ campaign on April 25 where the party workers will hoist party flags atop their houses. As many as 11 lakh party workers would participate in the campaign,” he added.
Rao also claimed the BJP workers were not allowed to have food in its party meetings, though the election manuals had not prescribed any such rules. Airing several other grievances, Rao alleged the administration gave permission for Shah to garland a statue of 12th century social reformer Basavanna here recently after a long delay. “The administration harassed us, and only gave permission for our national president to garland Sant Basavanna’s statue a few hours before (the scheduled event),” he said.
Rao also charged election officials with illegally defacing the party’s promotional writings on the walls of house owners asking people to vote for BJP. “The Election Commission was expected to conduct a free and fair elections, and maintain neutrality, but officials close to Siddaramaiah occupying top posts in the state (and involved in election work) were misusing their positions and creating a favourable condition for Congress,” he alleged. Rao also alleged that the administration was not allowing BJP to erect its hoardings in commercial places.